onsdag, juni 22, 2005

Scandinavian Design and Then Some

In our home, less is more. Having acquired one piece of furniture for each room, our alotment is spent. That means that lately every catalogue I receive from Pottery Barn to DWR gets tossed with the same fluid movement used to pick each up off the wood floor after a clankly dump through the mail slot. Up and outta here.

Except tonight I couldn't resist the DWR. Pretentious and overpriced? You bet. But who else would carry something called the womb chair, that didn't actually function as a sex toy? And how brilliant a concept is the Bingo Pouf? At least four times a year, between family reunions and high school all night poker parties while Mom is on a business trip, people end up draped around the house until Manhattan Bagel on Elmwood opens and the coffee pot cackles. A foam mattress that is sort of also a table is a concept worth consideration.

But if warmth, depth, and coziness is what you long for in an area rug, stay clear of my personal nordic favorite, the chilewich mat. It is as thick as a 37 cent stamp, but under a dining room table it cannot be beat. It is impervious to food and chair legs and looks damn sharp. Cozy? Save it for sleep. Speaking of which, I am this close to convincing my husband that we should get an actual mattress to go atop the Leggero.

This close.

fredag, juni 10, 2005

Fierce Gardening, Round 2

If you tell three men you have a strange creature in your back yard, two will want to kill it, and one will want to season it.

Portions of conversations:

"You can't discharge a firearm in the City."
"I have heard that you can make a silencer out of a two liter plastic bottle."
"Maybe it's a nutria and it escaped from the Erie County Fair."
"You are supposed to put the smoke bomb in a hole, not under anything."
"What's a nutria?"
"A bb gun won't kill it. "
"A bb gun won't kill it."
"Won't keep it away, either. Woodchucks are kind of dumb."
"And shy."
"And mean."

Bill suggested that I season the backyard with chili powder, that no mammal can really stand much of the stuff.

"But what if he likes it," I ask. And suddenly there it was, the image that will forever haunt me every Groundhog's Day: A group of woodchucks gathered under miniature party lights in the backyard dressed up like little Clint Eastwoods as Blondie, chewing on cayenne seasoned astor leaves and smoking rolled peppered cosmos, looking dumb, shy, and mean.

I am just going to shoot myself, instead.

torsdag, juni 09, 2005

Dazzle and Shine

"I gave her a bath," I said long ago to my husband, referring to our daughter.

"Great. How did it feel?" he asked.

"Um, good for her, I guess."
"You didn't go in with her?"
"Go in with her?"
"Parents in Sweden always take baths with their kids when they are little."

Well, bully for them, I thought. Baths for this Midwest, US of A girl meant, at its most collective, possibly three kids in the tub at once regardless of gender but, if memory serves, moms used this time to finish the dishes, the laundry, or a martini. The thought of my father undressing to join me or any one of my brothers in the tub is just so comical a concept that I cannot even get on to the point of icky. I keep chuckling just thinking about it. Dad and his underpants.

But over time I usually think about my husband's comments such as these, and think, well why not. I mean, being uptight, prudish and repressed has never really gotten anyone anywhere except maybe the state penitentiary for lewd and/or lascivious behavior, or in front of the camera asking for money on behalf of a television ministry, and then the state pen. So I have learned to be a little relaxed about some things. Why, just two days ago when the youngest shot out of the house buck-naked except for her polka-dot rain boots to play in the backyard, I waited a whole five minutes before I told the no-longer-a-toddler, "Hey, get back in the house and get some clothes on."

Last night, when she asked if we could take a bath together, my eye twitched and I said, "Sure." It is a simple routine. We play a game of What Letter Am I Drawing on Your Back two times each and then I explain to her that I must go find my martini. Things were going according to plan, until I found this white, heart shaped bar and, thinking it was soap, started to rub it into my daughter's back as part of the "clean the chalkboard" part of our letter game.

This stuff was incredible. It felt something like wax, or more as if wax were mixed with softened butter. When you rubbed it into the skin, it was so easy to massage. Instead of the alphabet game we just took turns with the bar, on our arms and necks and faces, and then each others' backs. It wasn't until she was cozy tucked into her bed about to read a story, when we noticed the light on our skin. We were covered in glitter. Not subtle, "I am going out and I want my skin to shimmer" sparkle. No, this was more like, "Do you like my sequined sweater" glitz. I have taken two showers and I am still a party animal.

I am wearing a turtleneck to work. And this time, I swear, I will stop listening to my husband.

tisdag, juni 07, 2005

Fierce Gardening

What kind of animal is about the size and color of a rugby ball, has no discernable ears, is kind of shlubby and chubby and not very toned, is neither a cat, a rabbit, a raccoon, nor a rat, and sneaks into my city yard after dinner to eat my plants?

Whatever it is, it gives me the creeps. I feel invaded. It is coming from the back meeting place of three garages where the fences don't connect. This means that I, still the lone head of the household, must

go to home depot
buy wire mesh
replace a broken staple gun
and probably a stake or something to drive into the ground to prevent burrowing or whatever it does to beat fencing
and go back into the far corner of my yard to face mutant mosquitos and crawl spaces and who knows what else.

And what if instead of fencing it out, I fence it in? There is a reason I live in the city. Vermin are either small or life size. These I am familiar with. What the heck is this hedgehog or platypus or baby muskox or whatever it is doing sneaking about? And it is sneaking about. I go out, it runs away. I disappear for a bit, and it returns. If I fence it in by mistake, will it attack?

"Who has a bb gun?" I ask my daughters.
No answer.
"Ok, who has a real gun?" I try.

"A real gun?" one replies. "You are going to shoot a little groundhog with a gun? You are going to shoot a little groundhog with a gun because it is eating your flowers?"

Well. No. If you put it that way.

Things That Do Not Mix

Wine and hammers